Such a sad week. The shootings at Virginia Tech were so shocking and horrific. I consider myself a Virginian, despite not having been born there, and despite the fact that I live thousands of miles away, now. My father's family is from there, long rooted in the Shennandoah Valley, and it's the seasonal change, the trees, flowers and animals of the Blueridge that inspire me most in this world. I did not go to VA Tech, but have a very dear friend whose husband is a professor there, and have spent my share of days in Blacksburg, and surrounding Montgomery County.
It has taken awhile to digest the news of the shootings, and the shooter's sad history, and all these events coming so close to the anniversary of the Columbine event, which of course, changed school security and our (misguided?) perception of school as a safe place. The news, later this week, that a parent of a kindergartener walked into her child's classroom, brandished a toy gun and started saying "bang-bang" to the students, in a copycat event, was the apalling icing on the cake. What is it about our culture that breeds such a disconnectedness and lack of empathy?
That's a rhetorical question, and does not require an answer, by the way. I've just been pondering all week.
Mercifully, the moon has changed, which always gives me the strength to crawl out of my funk and count my blessings, to try new things and to put on the witch hat again. Funny thing, after Leah departed, at the end of March, I was seized with a profound loneliness for the company of other pagans. It was so nice to casually talk about ritual, energy, tarot, and our spirituality, without having to consider putting anything into context, or edit myself in any way. I live and work in a very tolerant community, right now, but for the first time in 17 years, am not a member of a working pagan circle that meets in realtime. The one group I visited here on Oahu meets too far away, and were philosophically different enough from my own orientation to have me driving off to meet with them on a regular basis. I've been enjoying the solitary practice since I moved here, for the most part, but Leah's visit made me realize anew, how much I missed those folk and all the facetime we used to enjoy.
So it's been a troubled few weeks, in large ways and small.
But time moseys on, and the kolea - golden plovers, are getting ready to migrate for their summer in Alaska. These birds are pretty nondescript in the fall and winter months, but in the spring, they put on their jaunty black bibs and turn a nice golden color for breeding plumage, and then disappear for 3-4 months. A nice life, splitting your time between Alaska and Hawai'i, if you can get it. I took this picture at school, but we have a resident kolea in our back yard, too, who eats well, picking bugs and slugs out of dog poop. I think he also makes the occasional snack out of the lizard, as well. He is Ella and Cricket's would-be prey, they always launch off the deck steps in hot pursuit of him when they go outside.
I had occasion to join the ladies of the NRN at Pauoa Chop Suey, the other night. This was a delightful, unknown-to-me Chinese restaurant that isn't too far from home. I continue to be thrilled by the hidden, hole-in-the-wall local restaurants in Honolulu. We totally tasted the rainbow, in both company and food.
Of course no taste of the rainbow can compare with this one:
2 chocolate and 2 vanilla cream puffs from the Beard Papa, that crazy Japanese purveyor of ecstasy. I love the yellow carrying case they come in.
Ella is hoping that one will fall off the counter and into her waiting mouth.
Funny thing...Ella is the most energetic beggar that ever lived. She firmly believes that effort, in the form of soulful looks, sotto voce moans, and repeated sitting, downing, and offering up all of her scanty repetoire of tricks, will get her a handout. She would never dream of taking anything off the counter or stealing food - that's much more Cricket's game. He's a do it yourself kind of guy, and as such, rarely puts much energy into a beg. I don't know which dog is more annoying in the presence of food, really.
Knitting. No new pix to show. Eleanor slugs along, beautiful, soft and easy to knit. The Child's First Sock creeps along on its tiny #1 needles, too. Both are satisfying, but I'm kind of itching for a short project that will crank out fast. I have a couple of things in mind, and may dedicate some Battlestar Galactica time to the quick fix...